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3 Tips for Finding the Best Talent on Upwork

Community Manager
Lena E Community Manager Member Since: Apr 7, 2015
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Here are three tips that can help you find the best talent for your project.


1. Determine which is best for your project: a freelancer or an agency

You have the option to hire individual freelancers or agencies on Upwork. An agency consists of a team of professionals working on the platform. They can vary in size from a couple of pros—like a UI designer, a front-end developer, and a back-end developer—to a large company with hundreds of full-time employees in a central office. An agency might specialize in a particular area of expertise, such as app development or digital marketing, or offer a full gamut of professional services.

Here are some considerations that can help you determine which one is the best fit for your project.

Consider hiring a freelancer, or multiple individual freelancers, if:

  • You prefer communicating directly with the freelancers on your project.
  • You have solid requirements and the ability to accurately convey the project requirements to the freelancer(s).
  • A single freelancer is likely to be able to handle the project.
  • You have the skills (and time) to coordinate multiple freelance projects if your project has many moving parts or phases.

If one or more of the following applies, you may want to consider an agency:

  • Your project is large, requiring the coordinated services of multiple freelancers.
  • Your project is complex, with multiple workstreams, disciplines, or phases to coordinate.
  • You have a tight deadline, requiring multiple people to start working right away.
  • You expect the project to be long-term, requiring a consistent availability of talent.
  • Your talent requirements will change from phase to phase.

2. Find proven performers with the Top Rated badge and high job success scores. 

Top Rated Badge

The primary indicator of excellence on Upwork is the Top Rated badge. This distinction indicates achievement of a Job Success score of 90% or higher, as well as annual earnings of at least $1,000 for freelancers or $10,000 for agencies. Freelancers and agencies that have earned Top Rated status have consistently delivered high-quality results for clients. Keep an eye out for profiles with this badge to help you identify professionals who have excelled at delivering for their clients on Upwork.

Job Success Score

The Job Success score represents a freelancer’s or agency’s success on past projects. It takes into account client feedback and other indicators of client satisfaction such as long-term contracts and repeat hires. While the Top Rated badge is the primary signal to look for to gauge a freelancer’s past success for their clients, a Job Success score of 90% or higher can also help you identify top talent.


3. Look for the Rising Talent badge to find pros new to Upwork with strong potential

Rising Talent Badge

In addition to finding the best talent with experience on Upwork, you’ll also want to consider high-potential talent that is new to the platform. The Rising Talent badge identifies those who demonstrate strong potential based on their profile or experience off the Upwork platform, but haven’t yet done enough work on Upwork to have a Job Success score. Keep an eye out for this badge for the next generation of Top Rated freelancers.

Upwork makes it easy to tap into a global talent pool of experienced freelance professionals with a wide range of expertise. With these three tips in mind, you’re sure to find the perfect freelancer or agency for your project.